The ACT needs a plan to ease public health restrictions and should be the master of its own destiny when deciding which rules to relax, Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee says.
But Ms Lee stopped short of saying the ACT should abandon the national COVID-19 response transition plan, which includes national vaccination targets.
"I think most Canberrans know, and accept, that we are in the midst of a global health pandemic. They're not asking for things to be set in stone," Ms Lee said.
"We all understand that if there is a plan, and depending on the numbers, obviously infections but also the rates of vaccinations, that things may need to be changed and tweaked.
"But if you don't have a plan you can't change or tweak them at all."
The ACT reported 15 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, including 11 cases linked to existing cases and outbreaks. Five cases were in quarantine for their infectious period.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has repeatedly said the ACT would gradually ease restrictions, and would consider both case numbers in the community and vaccination rates.
Asked on Thursday if the ACT was on track to contain the outbreak before reaching phase B of the national plan, which could allow for less onerous public health restrictions, Mr Barr said: "It depends how you define contained. You can mount an argument that we are containing ... but if you're asking if we can get back to zero before October 15, I wouldn't make that bold prediction."
The national plan said low-level restrictions and track-and-trace measures would be used to minimise COVID-19 cases in the community once a jurisdiction moves to phase B.
That phase is reached when the national vaccination coverage reaches 70 per cent and the jurisdiction also reaches 70 per cent. The ACT is on track to reach 70 per cent coverage before the national average.
Mr Barr has defended the need for the ACT to wait for the national average to catch up, arguing increased vaccination coverage across Australia would reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 being reintroduced to the territory.
The plan said lockdowns were "less likely but possible" in phase B, while the post-80 per cent vaccination phase would use "highly targeted lockdowns only" while at other times "minimum ongoing baseline restrictions" would be in force "adjusted to minimise cases without lockdowns".
An opposition motion calling for the ACT government to define a "clear path forward" out of lockdown for businesses was defeated in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
An amended motion was passed instead calling on the ACT government to follow the "ACT pathway forward" released on Tuesday and the national plan to ease restrictions when possible.
Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in the ACT and the lockdown is free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: